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Theatre of the Ordinary – Improvised Performance Workshops
11 June, 2013 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm$10 – $20
For the past 40 years I have been developing a form of improvised movement theatre that is unique in it’s teaching of performance as a means of communication between people. My philosophy is that performance is for everyone not just the highly skilled professionals. We all have our own stories, songs and dances to share with each other and it is this sharing that enriches us. A safe non- competitive environment is essential to allow our thoughts and feelings to manifest themselves in a theatrical setting. I try to instill in my workshops the confidence to open up and explore through movements, words or sounds, our own way of being in the performing space. This space becomes not something to fear, but a source of power that allows us to look at laugh at and enjoy ourselves and our relation with other people. Performance becomes a showing of rather than showing off.
My aim is to inspire people, to support them in their explorations of movement, voice and text, guiding them as they develop their way of self-presentation in the performing space. In Australia I am called the grandfather of improvised movement theatre. I was extremely lucky to have Ruth Zaporah (Action Theater) and Terry Sendgraff (Motivity) as my first students when I started evolving my pedagogy during the 1970’s in the United States. I am honoured that these two brilliant teachers and performers consider me their mentor. A second generation emerged in Melbourne, Australia during the 80’s and 90’s. This generation included Andrew Morrish, Peter Trotman, Born in a Taxi (David Wells, Nick Papas, Penny Baron, Carolyn Hanna) and Five Square Meters (Clare Bartholowmew, Andrew Gray, Michael Hurwood). Other performer/teachers influenced by my work include Janis Claxton (Edinburgh), James Cunningham and Suzon Fuks (Australia, Igneous), Wilhemeena Gordon (New Zealand, SOUL centre of the body & mind), John Briton, Hillary Elliott, Kate Hilder (England) and Susan Bentley (Brusells).
Of more importance to me are the hundreds of non-professional students who work with me for several years, ordinary people developing the confidence and skill to create some quite extraordinary theatre. This is a pedagogy that works for everyone.
I won’t teach you what to do. I’ll inspire you to evolve your improvisation style and help you to develop your self-teacher and inner-director bycreating guidelines for you to explore various aspects of performance. I’ll offer practical ways of being more articulate with your movements, voice, and the spoken word. I’ll create a non-competitive, playful environment that encourages you to be impulsive with your physicality and vocality. Then I’ll ask you to speak about what you enjoyed doing in your own performance and what you enjoyed watching when other people performed, getting you to acknowledge and value your own aesthetics.
That is my process. It is very simple and very profound. It requires you to be playful, impulsive, mindful, thoughtful and positive. I want you to take responsibility for becoming your own teacher. I won’t teach you what to do but I will reintroduce you to the best teacher you ever had, that person who, when you were between the ages of nought and two, taught you how to walk and talk. That teacher was you. What you will discover in my classes is your theatrical self, a person who can create history, herstory, ourstory, improvisationaly.